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ARC3001 : Architectural Design 3.1

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Stella Mygdali
  • Co-Module Leader: Mr Jack Mutton
  • Owning School: Architecture, Planning & Landscape
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
Semester 2 Credit Value: 40
ECTS Credits: 30.0


This module aims to enable students to research ideas and develop coherent architectural designs while integrating knowledge and understanding of the thematic areas of the syllabus and mastering the skills in architectural design whereby these ideas will find expression. The module builds upon the foundation of architectural knowledge established in stages 1 & 2. In particular, the module objectives are that the student will be able to demonstrate through architectural design:

1. Awareness, knowledge and understanding of the disciplines which inform architectural design (design principles -technology and environment - cultural context - histories and theories of architecture - professional practice and management - communication skills) appropriate to a moderately complex coherent architectural designs.

2. Knowledge and understanding of the interdependence of architectural studies in the context of architectural design; core bodies of knowledge, most important contexts, principles and applications.

3. The ability to produce coherent architectural design up to the level of a moderately complex building with the ability to integrate knowledge and understanding of the social and aesthetic requirements, building technologies, environmental design and construction methods.

4. Related awareness, knowledge and understanding of the experiential and tectonic qualities of architecture appropriate to these levels of complexity.

5. A personal philosophical and ethical approach as a basis for thinking about design.. An awareness of different ways of practicing architecture and how this relates to their values.

6. An awareness of the architect's responsibility to consider safety, inclusive design, well-being, end-user needs and the climate crisis in design propositions.

7. An ability in using visual, verbal and written communication methods appropriate to test, appraise and represent ideas and designs up to the scale of a moderately complex building.

8. An awareness of the importance of working with others (clients, communities, colleagues) and the development of appropriate personal 'professional' skills such as honesty, integrity and time management.

Outline Of Syllabus

One-year long studio project comprised of a number of discrete stages, aspects of the studio project are used for reference / illustration in other related modules (ARC 3013, 3014, 3015). Students are allocated one studio for the year from a range of studios – each with their own distinct approach to architecture. Through the year at crossstudio reviews students are made aware of other studio methods and outputs to contextualise their own practice.

ARC3001 Architectural Design 3.1 builds upon the learning and skills developed in Stages 1 and 2 through an increased complexity in architectural design. The module builds upon the idea of integrateed production introduced in Stage 2, requiring students’ to synthesise multiple aspects of architectural design, ranging from social contexts, construction and materiality, professional and ethical concerns, including climate aware design and fire and life safety regulatory frameworks.

The module also seeks to enhance students use of visual, verbal and written communication, to both test and represent appropriate design ideas and strategies. Time is spent considering design method and students are expected to reference historic and contemporary precedents in this regard.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials42:008:00DESIGN LECTURES Synch live on-line-workshop covering the application/ integration of knowledge fro
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00ACADEMIC PORTFOLIO: Preparation of the portfolio.
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities18:008:00FIELD TRIP PREP: Non -synchronous learning material focused on the field trip.
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities180:206:00TOOLS FOR DESIGNING: Non -synchronous learning material, including technical and digital skills.
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities1150:00150:00DESIGN STUDIO WORK: Project related exercises and tasks as discussed in tutorials.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching162:0032:00GROUP TUTORIALS: Present in Person (or on-line synchronous in lockdown scenario) group tutorials -
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching34:0012:00REVIEW DAYS: PiP (or on-line synchronous in lockdown scenario) presenting own work and attend others
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching14:004:00PEER REVIEW: PIP (or on-line synch) - presenting own work to other students and reviewing each othe
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities1115:00115:00DESIGN STUDIO WORK: Specific research relating to the design project.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops31:003:00TOOLS FOR DESIGNING: Synch skills workshops. Present in Person (or on-line synchronous in lock
Guided Independent StudyProject work1150:00150:00DESIGN STUDIO WORK: Non-synchronous individual activity related to project development and synthesi
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork24:008:00PROJECT SITE VISITS: Visits to analyse sites relating to the design project. (pip)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork120:0020:00FIELD TRIP: 2.5 day present in person field trip.
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity41:004:00ROUND TABLE DISCUSSIONS: Peer led workshops focussed on different aspects of their projects.
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity132:0032:00ACADEMIC PORTFOLIO: Directed work of a reflective nature related to the project portfolio.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk161:0016:00MODULE TALKS: Including introduction to module stages, Q&A sessions and practitioner talks. Can be
Guided Independent StudyDistance Learning Advance Preparation12:002:00ACADEMIC PORTFOLIO: Reflective exercise.
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
ARC3013Architectural Technology 3: Integrated Construction
ARC3014Professional Practice and Management 3.1
ARC3015Theory into Practice
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Architectural Design 3.1 aims to consolidate, develop and expand on the key design skills gained during stages 1 and 2. The module consists of one-year long design project organised into discrete stages. The project is delivered through a studio model. Studios offer a range of design contexts and pedagogies all culminating in a building of similar scale and complexity. Each studio adheres to the same overall year structure and milestones designed to meet the learning outcomes of the module. The projects are developed to encourage critical and reflective thinking at all scales of design, from conceptual through to material and tectonic declarations of intent. At key points throughout the semester the student is expected to declare both process and outcomes and an emphasis will be placed on the effective communication of ideas in a variety of formats. Students are given limited flexibility within each studio to develop their own aspects of the brief or site selection. Each of the studios entails variety of group and individual tasks. Students are encouraged to share their studio’s methodologies and outputs through stage reviews / cross studio presentations. Peer learning is also encouraged through studio exercises and student participation in reviews and seminars. The participation in a lively and vibrant studio culture that fosters a culture of debate and develops both oral and graphic confidence is a key part of the student learning experience.

PiP Hours: Present in person provision will be delivered at the programme level, via academic mentoring on assigned 'PiP 'days'. ('Architecture's programme level PiP briefing note provides further detail.)
Synchronous v Non-synchronous Hours: While there is both synchronous and non-synchronous learning and teaching activity for all modules, across the programme the structured guided learning is weighted towards non-design modules and the scheduled learning and teaching activity hours are weighted towards Architectural Design modules. The latter is a reflection of a) design studio pedagogy, which is centred on a dialogic and responsive approach to 'students' own research and creative work and b) student feedback and high student attendance at weekly online Architectural Design Stage briefings (module talks) during the period of lockdown teaching in Spring 2020.'' Architectural pedagogy is reliant on a high proportion of independent learning to support the design process. The MOF hours are consistent with this approach.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio2M90Design Portfolio Assessment
Design/Creative proj1M10Group project assessed on research output, oral presentation and submission of a final document.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

GROUP WORK 10% of final mark
Group work accounts for five weeks at the start of semester 1. Group work will be assessed in semester 1 based on the assessment criteria which will be attributed to research output, oral presentation, and the submission of a final document. Assessment criteria for ‘Design Proposition’ and Construction and Materiality’ will not be applied to the group work submission. Students development and output will be supported by tutorials, with a final, summative assessment taking place at end of the group work phase. Students will receive written feedback and given a final mark (%). Submissions will be marked as groups, with a pass or fail grade awarded to each student. For group work, all passing marks within each group will be awarded the same value, any students that do not contribute to, or have fallen short of the prescribed scope and criteria of group work will fail the assessment. Submissions will not be re-evaluated following the group work assessment.

INDIVIDUAL WORK 90% of final mark
Individual projects are provisionally marked against the assessment criteria at key stages with formative feedback provided. Following each project assessment students receive written comments in relation to the declared criteria and a provisional grade. The formal assessment of the individual work will take place at the end of semester 2 where all individual work will be re-assessed as an academic portfolio and given a final (%) mark. This allows students to reflect and develop individual work before the final portfolio submission at the end of semester 2.

The assessment criteria for both semesters is based on learning outcomes and studio specific criteria outlined in the respective briefs. This includes:

Design Process: assesses the quality, depth, and rigour of students’ development of their design ideas. Students need to demonstrate evidence of rigorous, detailed research, definition of a clear brief, selection of appropriate methods for testing design ideas, evidence of rigorous experimentation, testing and controlled risk taking and learning from precedents and methods.

Ethical Framework: assesses student’s response and judgement of important relational contexts connected to the project brief and broader architectural discipline. Students will need to show ability to structure and articulate a critical position, narrative and use appropriate contemporary and historic precedents. Students need to respond to studio themes, social, political, environmental, material, cultural, historical, professional context(s) and to show an understanding of the principles of inclusive design, life safety, and sustainable design.

Design Proposition: assesses the quality, relevance, control, articulation and functionality of design proposals. Students need to evidence a design solution that balances users needs, contextual integration, spatial articulation, spatial quality (appropriate scale, functionality) and experiential consideration (atmosphere, materiality, lighting, integration of technology). This needs to be evidenced in the context of the climate crisis – demonstrating understanding, the process and consequence of design decisions. Students’ will need to evidence how their proposals develop from process work and how they respond to an ethical framework.

Construction and materiality: assesses students’ research, judgement and integration of tectonics within the design proposal. Students need to demonstrate an understanding of material and tectonic principles and evidence the appropriateness of those to the project brief and line of enquiry. Students need to demonstrate their sustainable and ecological approach in relation to construction and material choices.

Communication and representation: assesses control, accuracy, composition, clarity and detail within representation. Communication is relevant to the projects line of enquiry and evidence atmosphere, inhabitation and response to context.

Reading Lists